This month Oaxaca celebrates its biggest and most important festival of the year – The Guelaguetza!
While the main event is the Lunes del Cerro (Mondays 21st and 28th), there are hundreds of side events for you to enjoy. The streets will be filled with parades, music, traditional calendas, artisan markets, and street food. If you’re hungry head to Calle Garcia Vigil near the Carmen Alto Church where you’ll find a huge range of food plus many childrens rides and sideshow games.
Now in its 82nd year the Guelaguetza is an amazing celebration where representatives from each of the eight traditional regions in Oaxaca will gather at the Guelaguetza Auditorium to present their culture through music and dance.
There will be several large calendas (traditional parades) through the streets of Oaxcaca with the major events being on Saturdays 19th and 25th at 6pm. You can expect to see representatives from all the delegations in their traditional dress as well as giants, women carrying flower filled baskets on their heads plus a lot of dancing, music and fireworks (there are always fireworks!). They will also choose the Godddess Centéotl, who is the woman most representative of her pueblo.
There will be many other events during the month including music and dance performances at Teatro Macedonio Alcalá, concerts by Susana Harp and Lila Downs, artisanal markets, art exhibitions, local bands and a range of other cultural events. Most events are free and you can see the daily listings on our events page.
As well as the myriad of events in Oaxaca Centro there are a number of alternative Guelaguetzas in the towns of the central valleys on the Lunes del Cerro. These events will be held in Santa María El Tule, Villa de Etla, Zaachila, Cuilapam, and San Antonino Castillo Velasco – Ocotlán. Many of these regional towns will also hold exhibitions, fairs and markets of local products. You can find more information on the events pages.
Tickets for the Guelaguetza 2014 are available from Ticketmaster and cost $1050 for Section A and $850 for Section B. Sections C and D are free. Held on the 21st and 28th of July, there are two shows daily. If you’re planning to sit in sections C and D make sure you get there early as the queues are always very long. There’s not much shelter in the stadium so a hat and sunscreen are essential.
You can follow the official Guelaguetza page on Facebook here and download the complete program here.